To write music is to raise a ladder without a wall to lean it against. There is no scaffolding: the building under construction is held in balance only by the miracle of a kind of internal logic, an innate sense of proportion.
To tell the truth, in Pacific 231 I was on the trail of a very abstract and quite ideal concept, by giving the impression of a mathematical acceleration of rhythm, while the movement itself slowed . I first called this piece Mouvement symphonique. On reflection I found that a bit colorless. Suddenly, a rather romantic image crossed my mind, and when the work was finished, I wrote the title Pacific 231, which indicates a locomotive for heavy loads and high speeds (a type unfortunately disappeared, alas, and sacrificed to electric traction).